As we told you on Christmas, because we do what we do, we're here for the die-hard regulars, even on post-Christmas-Day 1 morning and on vacation (but don't tell the Mrs. 5-at-10, she frowns on such endeavors like working on vacation).
That said, let's do work — scratch that — let's do vacation activities.
From the "Talks too much" studios, the purest form of purity comes in the strangest forms. Or something like that.
Single malt mailbag
From Entertainment Tonight
Thanks for finally getting on the proper picking path. But I have a small problem.
I know you always tell us that this is for "entertainment only" but what happens if we risk a little more than entertainment. And what if we rode your first four picks that went 1-3 and went the opposite of your next four picks that went 4-0.
That's a sizable entertainment hole. And yes, I know it's my fault but I need your help. Your my only hope.
Please. Whatcha got this weekend?
After a brutal start we have picked up the pace in the bowl season. We are 5-3 against the spread in the postseason. Here are our previously posted picks for the games today:
• Marshall minus-2 over Maryland: Comparing common opponents tells us that each team won at Virginia Tech in overtime. Let's ride with Marshall because a) Conference USA was far from great but the ACC was not exactly filet mignon; b) Matt McConaughey will have his boys ready to play. (Better football movie: We Are Marshall or Remember the Titans? Discuss.)
• BYU plus-3 over Washington: Nineteen times out of 20 we favor the favorite. It's the wise play. We have picked more underdogs in this wave of bowl picks than we did all season. That's a scary fact. Still, the Huskies are another bunch that are playing after their coach broke up with them. Sigh. BYU is tough. Tough does not slump. One of the main hurdles about bowl handicapping is whether teams mess around during the bowl festivities. BYU is not into messing around, not when certain extracurricular activities get you dismissed from school.
• Minnesota minus-4 over Syracuse: Hey look, another ACC team in a Christmas-week bowl game. Go figure. The Gophers are one of the better, undertold stories in college football. Plus, the most famous Gophers are Dave Winfield and the little critter in Caddyshack; the most famous Oranges are Carmelo Anthony and navel. Edge Gophers.
As for Saturday's bowl games, let's examine them further:
• Notre Dame minus-13 over Rutgers: The differing level of talent here is staggering. Add to the fact that the NYC crowd will have more than a few Irish supporters, 13 seems likely a fair price for your entertainment investment.
• Cincy-UNC under the 56.5: We have flipped on this game several times so know that of the weekend, this is our least favorite.
• Miami plus-3.5 over Louisville: Miami limited to the finish because of a slew of nagging injuries. Those bumps and bruises are all-but gone. Also, the Cardinals were stoked about being in the Sugar Bowl last year and played inspired against a flat Florida team. Also also, two-thirds of the public bets are on Louisville, yet the line has remained at the 3.5 number. That makes us think Vegas knows something on this one.
• Kansas State minus-4 over Michigan: Michigan is turning to a new starting quarterback. Hmmmm. Michigan also gets the celebrity discount because the casual bettors look at games like this and say, "Michigan is getting points from Kansas State?" Wow that's a gift. Yes, a gift to the entertainment Gods.
As for being your only hope — it's cool feeling a little like Obi Wan Kenobi... "These are not the droids you're looking for" — here's a suggestion: Pick a strategy and ride it, regardless of the streak. Ride the 5-at-10's picks; go against our picks, make your own and ignore ours... it doesn't matter as long as you have a code and honor it. When you start playing hopscotch back and forth, well, that's why entertainment brokers drive Cadillacs and Vegas has fancy hotels and five-star restaurants that offer $7 filet mignon.
Those are our picks and we'll have more on Monday, when we will be back in our regular rotation. Side note: We will be back in the saddle of Press Row today from 3-6 on ESPN 105.1 FM.
If you need to discuss some topics here are a few:
After that debacle that was the NBA wearing shooting shirts on Christmas Day (think old-school Milwaukee Bucks bad), now seems a fine time to discuss the worst uniform in sports.
Does regular-season college hoops mean much of anything, especially before January? We know chas9 is stoked for Saturday's U of L-UK showdown, but does it matter beyond rivalry status since both of those teams will dance?
Jadeveon Clowney, first-round pick in the NFL draft or the NASCAR draft? Discuss.
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Want to know why they call it gambling and why we advise to risk entertainment only?
Starting today in Albuquerque, N.M., and ending Jan. 6 in Pasadena, Calif., 35 bowl games will be played.
1) LSU or Georgia, who you got?